Tesla on Wednesday (7/12/2022) officially launched two electric vehicle models in Thailand, marking its first foray into the regional automotive hub that has long been dominated by Japanese manufacturers.
The two electric cars come as Thailand encourages EV adoption and production by offering tax cuts and subsidies. Prices range from 1.7 million baht to 2.5 million baht, or around 48,447 US dollars to 71,205 US dollars
According to Reuters, Tesla plans to start selling its electric cars in Thailand through online channels, with first deliveries to begin early next year.
The launch of the two electric vehicle models will put Tesla head-to-head as two other electric vehicle makers such as BYD and Great Wall Motors have set up showrooms and distribution partners in recent years to reach customers and offer electric cars starting at 800,000 baht.
Thailand is the fourth largest auto assembly and export center in Asia for companies such as Toyota Motor Corp and Honda Motor Co Ltd.
Thailand produces around 1.5 million to 2 million vehicles annually and about half are exported to other countries.
Meanwhile, customers who attended Tesla’s launch at a luxury mall in downtown Bangkok, said they were intrigued by the new car on offer.
“I am happy because the price difference is not significant compared to other EV brands,” said Thitipun Paisirikul, adding that he expected the resale value of the car to be high.
Meanwhile, the Thai government wants at least 30 percent of the vehicles produced in the country to be electric by 2030.